Daily Archives: March 30, 2016

78% done with The World of Yesterday


I wonder if there is anger towards Zweig about his collaboration with Strauss on the Opera? Strauss was, after all, working with the Nazis, and though his justifications are perfectly valid, it’s still complicated. Zweig, though 2 degrees removed could have walked away from the project, but he explains himself quite well as why he didn’t . Too bad art has to suffer like this.

82% done with War and Peace


“Petya realized for a moment that this Tikhon had killed a man, [and] he felt uneasy.” This is the shame about Petya, he’s bright and observant but too eager to please and that will kill him. Such wasted life. And yet someone like Tikhon can kill and kill and never be badly hurt. But we do get quite the cross section of Russia out here in the forest as they raid the French.

82% done with War and Peace


Tikhon Shcherbaty is a fun character. He’s good natured, but can drive his ax right into a mans head, then carve a spoon with the same ax. And he has no real beef with the French, it’s just a game for him – there’s no nationality, just the sport of it. And you can see how effective guerrilla warfare is when carried out by men thus skilled. That’s why Tolstoy is showing us, real war, real horror. Poor Petya.

82% done with War and Peace


I love Tolstoy’s description of the rain and the forest. You can feel it soaking you right through the page. And then little Petya comes riding out of all that to give orders to Denisov. Tolstoy plays this true to life, too as he first has Petya try to be a professional officer, but can’t because he is with his friend now. For as gloomy as the weather is, this is a warm and merry meeting, though dangerous.

82% done with War and Peace


Denisov and Dolokhov are back in the story. We’ve had a glimpse of Dolokhov earlier with his plans, but seeing Denisov with him tells us all we need to know about what Denisov has been up to and his state of mind. Dolokhov could well use a man like Denisov: impetuous and having something to prove and nothing to lose. But we feel bad for Denisov because of what we know about Dolokhov. Still though, exciting!